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The Lines Are Drawn

I just heard Presidential Spokesman Robert Gibbs on the radio, discussing the economy, and one sentence out of the word of Obama's chosen mouthpiece illustrated, in stark contrast, just how fundamentally different their philosophy is from my own.

"We can't afford the Bush tax cuts."

First up, the presumption implicit in that statement. "We can't afford to let Americans keep their own money."

Tax cuts are not "giving people money." It's letting them keep what they have earned.

The federal government has no money of its own. Almost without exception, whatever money the federal government possesses, it has taken from individuals and groups.

And yes, "taken." Taxes are NOT voluntary. One cannot simply say "no, thanks, I'll pass this year" when your taxes are due. Refuse to pay your taxes and they'll take it anyway. Refuse enough, they'll arrest you. Refuse to cooperate with that, they can shoot you.

Secondly, the rhetoric of the message betrays the fundamental difference in perception we have. "Letting the Bush tax cuts expire."

Technically, legally, Gibbs is correct. The tax cuts were passed with a "sunset provision." They were lowered with the explicit understanding that, should Congress take no action, they would lapse on January 1, 2011 and the rates return to their previous levels.

But practically speaking, from the perspective of those whose money is being taken, it's a tax hike. Their taxes are going up, after a decade of being lower. That is, to those who are affected, a tax hike -- de facto if not de jure.

Further, it reflects the liberal mentality on taxes -- tax hikes are always permanent, tax cuts always aberrations. Whenever a tax rate is raised, that becomes the "new normal" level of taxation. Cuts, however, are always temporary, whether or not that is written into the law.

Listen to the rhetoric of the left, and it becomes clear. The most progressive of the left (and by "progressive," I mean most socialist and confiscatory) occasionally, when they're careless, long for the days when the top graduated tax rate was 90%, and talk wistfully of "restoring" it. You'll never hear them talk about "restoring" tax rates that were lower than present, or even "restoring" the days when we simply didn't have an income tax.

Thank you, Mr. Gibbs. With that one simple phrase, you managed to sum up just where I differ from you and the regime you speak for.

And reminded us that we can't afford your philosophy.


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Comments (22)

What Gibbs and his boss ref... (Below threshold)
Bob:

What Gibbs and his boss refuse to admit is that we couldn't afford to spend $800 billion (all borrowed) on the last failed Obama stimulus plan and another $50 billion on the newly proposed Obama stimulus plan. The last failed stimulus cost more than 9 years of war in Iraq.

The last fiscal year for which the Republicans were fully responsible (2007), the deficit was $160 billion. "Too much," the Democrats told us in 2006 and 2008. With the Dems in charge of Congress for the last 4 years and also having the White House for the past 2 years, our projected deficit for the current fiscal year is $1.3 trillion. Nice job on fixing the problem guys. As recently calculated, Obama has accumulated more debt than all the Presidents from Washington through Reagan.

Still, Gibbs may be right: The Democrats can't afford to let people keep their own money and decide how to spend it. To succeed, the Dems need to retain the power to take the money from taxpayers and dole it out to their favored groups (e.g., unions) and projects.

It is just another clinical... (Below threshold)
ron:

It is just another clinical demonstration on how to not get reelected by the Democrats. Numbers talk though. By how much will they go up?


"For working individuals, the 10% tax rate bracket will revert to 15% in 2011. The 25% goes up to 28%, 28% goes up to 31%, the 33% goes up to 36%, and the 35% goes up to 39.6%.


Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/How_your_US_taxes_will_go_up_next_year.html#ixzz0z7dPwKpI
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

The only people unaffected by the rates are freakin homeless people. Or like me....not employed and unemployable at this time. Though I am plottin and a plannin to become a self employed person I have so far completely failed there as well. Of course that is not saying much about me and I personally have some shame in this never the less I intend to find some way to get myself out of this situation.

They keep digging the hole ... (Below threshold)
Grace:

They keep digging the hole that is going to defeat them in this upcoming election - and most probably the next. This is the "smartest" group in Washington?!? What bubble are they continuing to live in that they cannot see or are willfully defying the will of the people?

I keep hearing the Republicans as being called the party of "no". What a wonderful moniker for them. I would even add "Hell, No!", and support them all the way in blocking these economic fools.

"...we can't afford..." is ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"...we can't afford..." is a telling phrase. And one I fear too may of those who have been elected and sent to DC (as well as a majority of DC's permanent class of bureaucrats) don't understand. Yet, it is a concept so basic that we begin to learn it as a child. It is a piece of information so basic that it helps distinguish "grownup" from one whom has merely "grown up".

If we're in the midst of a ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

If we're in the midst of a 'Great Depression' economy, to me the obvious thing to do is grow the economy - not strangle it with higher taxes. You don't improve a runner's time by forcing him to use breathing restrictions. (Maybe temporarily, for training - but in a race? That'd be stupid.)

And if we aren't in an economic race - WTF are we in?

Oh, I know, I know - the rich have to pay their 'fair share', but it's pretty odd how whenever the tax rates are dropped revenue increases. (And no matter what the rates, the rich can find loopholes to shelter their money.) This indicates to my simplistic mind (yeah, I'm stupid - I believe that 2+2=4 no matter how the law defines values of '2', and that the private sector produces what the 'public servants' consume) that there's a certain balance point that maximises revenue and growth against tax rates.

Taxing the rich because they're rich and the filthy bastards don't deserve to be rich may be 'social justice' (a term that seems to be defined as "Punish anyone who needs punishing for whatever politically correct reason can be found, consequences be damned") but it's a stupid way to run an economy. It may give momentary satisfaction to tax the 'rich' out of existance, but in the long run it's counterproductive to an extreme.

We need to simplify the tax code with an eye towards maximizing revenue, not in accordance with feel-good PC bullshit or social engineering.

I noticed this in an AP sto... (Below threshold)

I noticed this in an AP story the other day, a story where they were portraying tax cuts positively because they were the 'safe' and meaningless tax cuts on people that barely pay any taxes that Obama was portraying (tax cuts are wonderful when Dems propose them, horrible budget busters that must be 'paid for' when the GOP is backing them):

The official estimated the ultimate cost to taxpayers over 10 years would be $30 billion, with most of the money lost in tax revenue being recouped as the economy strengthens.

Funny that. When they're tax cuts proposed by the head socialist, suddenly the press decides that tax cuts that revitalize an economy will bring in money to 'pay for' them. When was the last time they pushed this angle on Republican-proposed cuts?

"We can't afford the Bus... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"We can't afford the Bush tax cuts."

Who is this "we"? "We" meaning the government? Because "we" the people certainly can.

41 Obama White House aides ... (Below threshold)
Neo:

41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes -- and they're not alone

Over the years a lot of suspicion has built up across the country about Washington and its population of opportunistic transients coming to see themselves as a special kind of person, somehow above average working Americans who don't work down in that former swamp.

Well, finally, an end to all those undocumented doubts. Thanks to some diligent digging by the Washington Post, those suspicions can at last be put to rest.

They're correct. Accurate. Dead-on. Laser-guided. On target. Bingo-bango. As clear as it's always seemed to those Americans who don't feel special entitlements and do meet their government obligations.

We now know that federal employees across the nation owe fully $1 billion in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.You see, in the White House a tax increase causes no pain.

Can't "afford" them?<... (Below threshold)

Can't "afford" them?

Even the New York Times admitted back in June of '06 that federal tax revenues saw a "surprising jump" following the implementation of the evil Bush tax cuts.

Just as they did when the capital gains tax rate was lowered. Grab the debate video where Obama was asked if he'd support such a reduction in the tax rate if the result was more revenue for the government. He stood his ground, said he'd oppose it because it's not "fair".

What we can't afford to do is let the Democrats stay in power with our credit card.

Since God blessed me with a... (Below threshold)
CZ:

Since God blessed me with a good memory I am confused.

This argument is similar to that "chicken/egg" thingie. Which came first?

Clinton raised taxes so didn't Bush cut what was originally a Clinton tax hike?

By eliminating the Bush tax cut it means we go back to Clinton's tax hike which came first, correct?

So when Obummer cuts the cut doesn't he really hike the hike instead of cutting the cut?

So which came first? A tax cut or a tax hike?

Maybe this argument is more similar to "who's on first"?

I am amused that in order t... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

I am amused that in order to support their reinstatement of the higher tax rate on the "evil rich", the Democrats finally, after over 9 years of lying, admit that Bush cut taxes for the non-rich.

But, more important than the income tax cuts, as I see it, it is essential to maintain the business tax, the dividend tax and capital gains tax cuts. If those are allowed to expire, then it will really hit our economy hard.

What Gibb's was saying was ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

What Gibb's was saying was -

We, the Government, cannot afford to allow you, the people, to keep that money that you've earned.

His statement does illustrate well the conflict that exist between Government and the people.

Thanks to Obamacare the val... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Thanks to Obamacare the value of my medical insurance becomes taxable income in 2011. However, I will not be taxed just on my contribution to my company-provided health insurance. I will also be taxed on the company-paid portion as well. Based on COBRA charges (which represent 100% of the health insurance) that amounts to $1000/month today. In January, the insurance company plans to incresase premiums 15% (due to Obamacare)-- so it will be an addition of $1150/month to my taxable income.

My marginal rate today is 33% -- That means on January 1st I have to pay an additional $450/month in income tax to cover the taxable value of my health insurance (don't forget the 7.65% Social Security/Medicare taxes). Before the tax increase caused by the expiration of the Bush tax rates.

And every employee of the company for which I work will get slammed by that tax increase, too. Even someone working a minimum wage job will suddenly get between $100 to $150 per month added to their income taxes. Because this "income" gets added on top of what they are already earning.

If the Bush tax cuts expire, I get to pay another 3% of my gross to Uncle Sam. As for my minimum wage co-worker? His or her tax bill goes up another $50/month.

That sputtering, choking sound you hear this January will be the nation's economy.

Mark LIt is unders... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Mark L

It is understanding that making benefits taxable did not make it into the final bill. Benefits will be reported on your W2 for TY2011, but will not be figured into gross pay.

Now, it wouldn't surprise me that once the IRS has the information the next step for the greedy politicians would be to enact a tax on it, but it's not currently.

Ron - #2,Keep goin... (Below threshold)
SER:

Ron - #2,

Keep going for it, we all are pulling for you. I have tried and failed at numerous businesses. There is no shame in trying and as long as you learn from the experience, you will be better off. I became employed again, but my wife and I still have two businesses on the side.

TAXES ARE FOR THE ... (Below threshold)
mark:

TAXES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE (CONT'D): 41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes -- and they're not alone. Plus this: "638 workers on Capitol Hill owe the IRS $9.3 million in back taxes. As in, overdue. The IRS gets stiffed by the legislative body that controls its budget. How Washington works."

It's easy to see why these people don't mind higher taxes. They don't plan on paying 'em anyway . . . .

Posted at 8:59 am by Glenn Reynolds

BHO: "What I am saying is t... (Below threshold)
Ernie:

BHO: "What I am saying is that if we are going to add to our deficit by $35 billion, $95 billion, $100 billion, $700 billion, if that's the Republican agenda, then I've got a whole bunch of better ways to spend that money."
This is not about making the rich pay, it's about spending more money by the government.

reflects the liberal men... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

reflects the liberal mentality on taxes -- tax hikes are always permanent, tax cuts always aberrations. Whenever a tax rate is raised, that becomes the "new normal" level of taxation. Cuts, however, are always temporary, whether or not that is written into the law.

This sounds just like Islam to me. Once a territory is conqured by Islam it is 'always' Islamic territory in the eyes of Islam, even if it is re-conqured by non-Islam (dar al-islam).

Democrats don't worry about... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Democrats don't worry about taxes....seeing as they go out of their way not to pay them.

"I am amused that in ord... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"I am amused that in order to support their reinstatement of the higher tax rate on the "evil rich", the Democrats finally, after over 9 years of lying, admit that Bush cut taxes for the non-rich."

That struck me too. All this time we've been treated to the lefty mantra "Bush tax cuts for the rich". Now we hear that they want to retain the parts for the middle class and only let the parts for the "rich" expire.....

They wouldn't have been bare-faced lying all this time, would they? Nah. 'Course not!

"We can't afford the Bush t... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

"We can't afford the Bush tax cuts."

No... that's ass-backward! We can't afford all their spending!

We couldn't afford the overspending when Bush was in office, and we certainly can't afford an order of magnitude increased over-spending by Øbama...
Not unless your goal is to intentionally crash the economy.*

* See: "The Cloward-Piven Strategy"

It reminds me of a discussi... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

It reminds me of a discussion I had in another blog. The liberal's attitude was pretty much that all money was the government and by using tax rates the government pays people by not taxing 100%.

To them $700 worth of tax cuts is a government payment to that person. To them it is the same as taking that money and paying someone on welfare who did nothing for it. Also it has the same influence on the economy.




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